5 Signs That Your Ductwork is Leaking Air

Published on: June 22, 2012

If you have an older home, you may start experiencing issues with your air duct system. Through the years, joints and metal fittings become detached, which creates leaks in the ductwork. Leaks in your duct system can lead to expensive and ongoing repairs, high electricity bills and loss of air quality. Hence, air conditioner maintenance is important. Listed below are some signs that you may need an air duct cleaning or have a leak that needs repair.

Poor Air Quality
If you start to notice your allergies or asthma worsening, an air duct cleaning may be necessary. When allergens and mold take up residence in your ductwork, the air that is pushed out into your house is filled with them. This can lead to hay fever, sinus issues, dry eyes and other unpleasant symptoms. Sometimes this can be due to a change in the weather or seasons, but if you notice that you do not have as many health issues in other locations, or that your symptoms are not related to seasonal changes, you may need to schedule air conditioner maintenance.

Frequent Repairs to Your Air Conditioning Unit
Another sign that you may need duct cleaning done is that you are frequently having to repair your air conditioner. If your ducts have developed a leak or a buildup of debris, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool and circulate air. Often times when people need to have ongoing air conditioner maintenance performed, it is a sign of a problem in the duct system, not the AC unit. While it can be expected for older air conditioning systems to encounter problems, repeated failure in an AC unit that is less than ten years old is not acceptable.

Increased Electricity Bills
Although many people see their cooling bills rise during the summer, if you find that your electricity bills have increased without a major change in weather, it is a sign of a leak or problem in your ductwork. As mentioned previously, problems with your ductwork will result in your air conditioner having to work harder to cool your house. When this occurs, your AC will require more energy to do its job. Air conditioner maintenance can help reduce cooling costs, but if you need your ducts cleaned, having work done on your AC unit is only a short term solution.

Extremely Dirty Air Filters
If you have a leak in your ductwork, chances are that the air circulation system is pulling unwanted debris into the ducts. When your air conditioner tries to circulate air, the polluted particles will end up being caught in your air filter, which will clog quickly. Clogged filters lead to poor air quality and higher electricity bills due to the AC unit working harder to push air through the filters. Depending on the type of filter you use, you should have to replace it every two to three months. If you fine that you need to replace it more often than that, you probably need to have your ducts cleaned.

Strange Noises and Hissing
Finally, if you notice that your air conditioner is making strange noises, it is a sign that you need air conditioner maintenance. When your air conditioner turns on, listen for hissing noises. If you hear such noises, it usually means there is a leak or problem with a joint. Over time, joints can become loose due to vibrations, settling of the house, or repair work done on the air conditioning unit. It is important that you have someone look at your air conditioner and ducts as soon as you hear these hissing noises because the problem will only get worse over time.